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Homemade Laundry Detergent

I sort of had a minor breakdown this week.

First, my laptop screen cracked, and as I type this, it’s through a mess of blurry squiggles that are slowly, painfully spreading across the screen.  It’s gotten worse and worse as the days have gone on.

Secondly, I’ve been dealing with the aftermath of basically having company in my house for two months straight.

Thirdly, about five out of seven days this week, my seventeen month old’s nap has been interrupted by something.

But none of this really bothered me until I heard a crash and came upstairs to discover that an entire gallon of laundry detergent had fallen from its perch on top of the dryer and had spilled all over my laundry room, coating my floors in a thin layer of rather expensive organic baby laundry detergent, which I had bought in preparation for washing layette for the baby that I’m currently growing.

And right about then I lost it, because I am pretty pregnant and pretty cranky, and I decided that having four different brands of laundry detergent was ridiculous, and I was going to find a way to come up with a single laundry detergent to do the twenty million loads of laundry it seems that I do every week.  Because there was the baby detergent, the cloth diaper laundry detergent, the free and clear detergent I have to use when I wash my husband’s clothes because others irritate his skin, and then the generic baking soda laundry detergent I use for, well, everything else.  All of these bottles were cluttering up my (rather tiny) laundry room, and it was then and there I decided to see if I could find a better alternative, a more natural alternative, and perhaps one that wouldn’t cost me so much all around (since I was spending a ton of money buying all of these detergents!).

And as it turns out, I did!

I took to the Internet and I found about ten million recipes for homemade laundry soap, which can be made on the cheap and doesn’t have any nasty chemicals in it (washing soda is basically sodium carbonate).  There are a bunch of recipes for liquid laundry detergent, but since I had just had a ton of that spill all over my laundry room floor I opted to make the powdered version, and it actually worked very well!  Everything came out smelling fresh and clean the first go around, and I didn’t notice any buildup on any of my clothing (something that I had noticed with my baking soda based detergent).  Also, this is a low sudsing formula, so it can be used on HE machines. 

So here’s the recipe for your very own homemade laundry detergent (courtesy of DIY Natural):

1 Bar of Shaved Bar Soap (you want to use a natural soap that isn’t heavily fragranced.  The DIY Natural Guy used Ivory Soap, but I actually bought a bar of Fels-Naptha from my local grocery store)

1 Cup of Borax

1 Cup of Washing Soda (I used powdered Arm and Hammer)

Combine the ingredients in a large container (I used a 4 cup measuring cup), and stir thoroughly for about five minutes.  It’s important to keep the stirring up, as I thought I was done after three but then I realized it wasn’t totally mixed.

And then you’re done!  Simply use one tablespoon of your detergent per load, 2 tablespoons for heavily soiled loads.  It’s so easy that I could do it (and really, that’s saying something!), and my clothes washed beautifully and came out stain-free and smelling great.

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[author_info]About the Author

Amanda Romine Lynch is the Prime Parents’ Club’s Green Living Contributor.  She was forced to re-evaluate her lifestyle choices after her son had a reaction to disposable diapers, and has been finding ways to go green and save green ever since.  She is also an unpublished author who loves to read and write.  You can find her on her blog at, on Facebook, or on Twitter as @thebookprincess.




Image: Clarita

Amanda Romine Lynch is the Prime Parents’ Club Green Living Contributor. She was forced to re-evaluate her lifestyle choices after her son had a reaction to disposable diapers, and has been finding ways to go green and save green ever since. She is also the author of ANABEL UNRAVELED, which is available on Amazon and its sequel ANABEL DIVIDED. You can find her on Facebook at Facebook, or on Twitter as @thebookprincess.


  1. Matt Jabs

    August 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Glad you like the recipe Amanda, God bless!

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